You and your start-up company will be better off if you make time for your romance and entrepreneurial lives. Entrepreneurial couples must communicate openly and share the same values. Shared values initially brought you together as a couple and sustain your relationship. To nurture it, define your priorities, examine your motivation, analyze your long-term relationships and know how much time you can spend with your partner. Be persistent, stay ready to cope with uncertainty and learn to delegate. Before anything, decide whether you want to be in the relationship as well as in business.
Decide how much of your work you want to share with your significant other. Establish your boundaries right at the beginning. While most people consider entrepreneurial extroverts, many are actually introverts who are able to function as extroverts when necessary. Even genuine extroverts get tired of being always on, as entrepreneurs must be when launching a company.
Entrepreneurs can be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated or a combination of both. Intrinsically motivated entrepreneurs seek certain milestones and are less affected by external forces, such as profits or praise. Extrinsically motivated entrepreneurs need both kudos and good earnings to keep going.
Entrepreneurs tend to be high-achieving and independent. Marry somebody who can be independent. Sometimes, you’re going to be gone, either physically, as on a business trip, or emotionally, because you’re making million-dollar decisions. Accept the people you’re with, to compromise and to retain a sense of humor.
Entrepreneurs often live with financial risks, which can be new territory to partners with a steady paycheck. A person who has always worked a salaried position from nine to five arguably does not view money in the same way as the entrepreneur– money to the entrepreneur is much more dynamic. Money is raised, money is earned and lost, and all while people are being hired and fired.
Romance And Entrepreneurial Life
Entrepreneurial couples must communicate. To build that into your routine, make appointments with your partner. Regular date nights are important. Try to talk for four minutes in the morning and have monthly life dinners to discuss bigger issues, such as business goals. Ask your partner for feedback and resolve any lingering problems. Life dinners should be regular and scheduled, like the first Saturday of each month or whatever day works best for you.
Entrepreneurial couples should share the same core values, such as whether to have children, and they should also agree which behaviors are unforgivable, such as infidelity, violence, alcohol or drug abuse, as well as having a mutual meeting of the minds on how to handle political or religious views, privacy, and other issues. These values include how you communicate, the commitment you have to each other, and your shared definition of responsibility, trust, and honesty. As in any relationship, actions speak louder than words.
Entrepreneurs have positive and negative traits. They tend to be goal-oriented, ambitious, driven, creative, optimistic, autonomous, forward-looking, independent thinkers and leaders. They can bounce between personality extremes, and confuse or irritate their partners. Some entrepreneurs suffer from psychological disorders, including anxiety, depression, mania and bipolar disorder. Aside from personal issues that require professional intervention, entrepreneurs are usually workaholics who have difficulty scheduling time off or saying no to demands. Symptoms of workaholic include never feeling satisfied, becoming stressed out from being in a constant state of emergency and moving from one task, project or company to another without ceasing.
Take time off to decompress. Figure out what requires your immediate attention and what can wait. Consider giving your partner access to your work schedule, so he or she knows when to expect you to get home. Schedule time off for socializing, poker games, shopping, exercise, reading or any relaxing activity. Men are prone to isolation because they are less likely to schedule downtime. Learn to set boundaries, to say no and to avoid overextending yourself.
Extensive travel poses its own set of challenges. After a long business trip, the entrepreneur wants to relax just when his or her partner may crave time together. Couples with children face a similar re-entry adjustment disorder each day if one partner works and the other is a stay-at-home parent. The working partner has been talking all day and wants quiet; the home-based parent craves adult conversation.
Many entrepreneurial couples disagree or fight about money. Discrepancies in income between entrepreneurs and their partners can lead to disharmony unless both agree on how to manage their finances. The early stages of a new company are especially hard because entrepreneurs generally sink all their fiscal resources into getting their businesses going. Entrepreneurs must be honest with their partners about their cash flow and how they handle financial decisions.
On the flip side, some entrepreneurs are wildly successful and can sell their businesses for large amounts of money. Once you sell, family, friends, financial advisers and other entrepreneurs will bombard you with advice. Don’t make any major monetary decisions for 90 days. Consider how to preserve your funds without making commitments. You might spend 10% of your after-tax funds on a splurge– a new car, a vacation, art or anything else you desire, then be sensible.
Entrepreneurial Couples Attaining Balance
Life with an entrepreneur can be crazy and unpredictable. Do expect periods of intense activity, especially in the early start-up phases, followed by lulls. Entrepreneurs’ partners can feel frustrated and neglected during such intense periods. Entrepreneurs caught up in their daily work lives may let their personal romance slide. Communicate with your partner about your intimacy needs. Honesty isn’t just the best policy; it’s the only way to be. Don’t let issues fester.
Entrepreneurial couples define love and romance differently, so behave romantically in ways that work for you and your partner. To help your partner feel loved and appreciated, you can schedule quarterly no-phone, no-web vacations, take small breaks from work for a day or a weekend, and curtail your use of electronic communications. If you feel compelled to answer every call or respond instantly to each text or email, don’t carry your phone, laptop or tablet around with you. Curb TV viewing and get the TV out of your bedroom.
Don’t avoid conflict; manage it. Be honest and respectful. Choose your words carefully. Learn to give constructive criticism. Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Say, “I get angry when…” rather than “You always…” Avoid having big arguments before bedtime, which should be for solace and sleep.
Conflict is inevitable in romantic relationships, but rethink your life if you’re constantly fighting or don’t feel your partner supports you. Learn healthy ways to express anger and frustration. Listen to your partner. Don’t pay attention to his or her words alone; follow nonverbal cues, as well. Above all, don’t let financial infidelity, the #1 relationship wrecker, end your relationship.